Review: Cheeseburger Links from Super America (Speedway)

I began my day with the idea that I would go around town eating plain hot dog after plain hot dog to see if there was a distinguishable difference between the offerings of gas stations, food courts, and hardware stores.  After sampling the hot dog in my local Target store food court, I headed over to the nearest Super America where I knew I could find a hot dog on one of those weird grills where the stainless steel tubes rotate to keep from burning the hot dog… and you get to use the community tongs to make your own selection.  Sure enough, there was the rack of hot dogs and all the other hot dog shaped things truck drivers love to eat, like brats, cheese filled brats, and polish sausages.  But it wasn’t any of these that caught my eye.  I know, you’re thinking: C’mon Murray, get with the times, man.  They have egg rolls and taquitos and all sorts of things on the roller grills nowadays.  No.  This was something totally different…

Story side note:
You don’t actually eat at a gas station.  Some of them have those little high tables, but they’re really only there for people to fill out an employment application or to scratch off a lottery ticket before they get into their car and don’t have the gumption to come back and buy another one.  When I say I’m eating at a gas station, I mean I’m buying food at a gas station and eating it while I drive (not recommended).  Take your food to go.  OK, back to the story.  As I was saying, I had just encountered something totally different from anything I had ever seen before, and yet, it was one of the most familiar icons of 20th century Americana all at the same time.  Sometimes, things are so simple, they are brilliant.  It made me wonder (almost out loud) how no one had thought of this before.  A cheeseburger, in hot dog form. Every backyard barbeque from coast to coast for the last 50 years has featured hot dogs and hamburgers.  Why had no one dreamed up the idea of mashing ground beef into a hot dog shape and putting it on the grill?  I’ll tell you why:  Because it looks disgusting.  It looked like someone took a wet hot dog and rolled it under the refrigerator to collect a bunch of dust and crumbs, then threw it on the grill (they’re the lumpy things in the back of the grill picture, to the right of the corn dogs).  When I got in close to take a gander, I had a flashback to those scenes from the old Wren and Stimpy cartoons where they would zoom in real tight to see a flea on their skin, revealing a microscopic level pig pen.

Super America (Speedway) is calling this thing a “Cheeseburger Link”.  I call it a sign of the apocalypse.   Dogs and cats, living together!  It’s mass hysteria!  There was only one thing left to do.  Try it.  The sign clearly read: 2 for $2, but I didn’t care if they were 12 for $2, I was only going to eat one.

I looked over both shoulders, in fear and humility, to make sure no one was watching.  The bun drawer was stocked full and I opened one up and put it in my paper boat (for rookie convenience store eaters, the buns for the hot dogs are located in a drawer under the grill and are included in the price).  I picked up the tongs, but quickly realized that this tongs lacked the tether that most have, meaning someone could have dropped this on the floor and just put it back in the tongs holder without telling anybody.  I circled around to the other side of the rack where a tongs, properly fastened to its off-the-floor position, awaited.  It was a bit of a reach from this side, and I had to tell myself to keep my face away from the front of the grill as I contorted under the sneeze guard to reach the link at the back of the rack.  As I squeezed the link with the plastic tongs, I could tell already I was not going to like the consistency of this, this, this… thing.  I grabbed another bun and threw in a standard hot dog as a chaser, in case my gag reflex kicked in.  As I walked to the counter to pay, I felt as awkward as a guy buying a box of feminine napkins for his girlfriend waiting in the car.  Luckily, the attendant was a man of substantial girth who clearly could not cast a judging eye my way.  Once safely at home, I went to the fridge to see what I could add to this monstrosity.  I wondered: Do I put condiments on it like a hamburger or like a hot dog? I quickly realized there was really no sense in debating this since they were essentially the same with the principal difference being that pickles, onions and tomatoes are generally diced on a hot dog,  and sliced on a hamburger.

With more ketchup and mustard than I normally use on a hot dog or a hamburger as a hopeful buffer, I took a bite.  It was a strange sensation, because my brain had me ready for a hot dog flavor and hot dog texture, but instead I tasted and felt cheeseburger.   It took me about half the link to complete this mental cartwheel, but as soon as I did, reality set in.  I was eating a gas station quality cheeseburger in the shape of a hot dog.  As bad as a gas station cheeseburger can be, at least they look and feel like a cheeseburger.  This was mushy, but somehow held together with some type of congealant. The texture would be like taking a handful of raw ground hamburger (without pressing it into a patty), putting it in the microwave for 30 seconds and then eating it with your bare hands.  The taste was mostly salt and grease, but like the lowest quality salt and grease on the market.  There was a hint of beef and less of a hint of cheese. I was expecting the cheese to be injected into the middle like in a cheddarwurst, but instead, it was mixed in with the ground beef much like the syrup nuggets in the pancake batter on a McGriddle (let’s make no mistake, I am not comparing the quality of my favorite breakfast sandwich with this abomination, I’m only trying paint a picture of the cheese integration technique).  The feeling I got after finishing the link was like the feeling you get after throwing up.  It sucked, but at least it’s over.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to…

Pros: You could be in on the ground floor of America's next summertime BBQ staple.

Cons: You may as well eat something off the ground or floor. Texture: 1

Taste: 3.50/10
Value: 6.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.00/10
Price: 2 for $2 (for a limited time)

Overall GrubGrade: 3.00/10

22 comments on “Review: Cheeseburger Links from Super America (Speedway)

  1. somesteve says:

    wow. i’d try those.

  2. Russ says:

    I may be wrong, but you make this sound like a new item.
    I think they’ve been around for almost ten years.
    I’ve tried them and they weren’t bad, nothing to write home about.
    For sure nothing to write about in a gourmet food magazine, but edible anyway.

  3. Tracy says:

    Too funny!! I don’t know how you did it, it looked too much like what they close the kiddie pools down for, not thank you!

    I want to see the look on the attendant’s face as he watched you take pictures of the hot dogs on the hot dog roller.

  4. Chefprotoss or dan says:

    7 Eleven has had these for years. They aren’t bad. They aren’t great either. Nice review though.

  5. Bubbsy says:

    I too had one of these, as all the grill items are mix-and-match 2 for $2. I wanted variety. I actually like getting their fatty hot dogs or sausages and fully loading them with chili, cheese goo, onions, jalepenos, ketchup, mustard. It’s a $2 guilty pleasure. Thought I’d throw a burger dog into the mix.

    That said, concerning the burger dog…. – I would not change a thing about the review. I have nothing to add or take away. He’s not exaggerating.

  6. Ross says:

    The cheeseburger link has been on sale for several years. Maybe longer, but 01-02 was when I first noticed them. I have not purchased one as it resembled a turd and had an aroma of regret. You’re a pretty brave person.

  7. JP says:

    They’ve had these at 7-11 for years.

  8. Mike N says:

    QT has a buffalo chicken roller, which is actually pretty tasty. They used to have stuffed breadsticks, but they discontinued them. :(

  9. Courtney says:

    If your looking for a great hot dog, the best hot dog I have ever eaten in my life (stay with me here, because it was not at any restaurant, bar, fair, etc.) was at 7-11. Yes, they have a hot dog called the Smokey. It’s the best stinking hot dog EVER! But it’s getting harder and harder to find now a day’s. Only some 7-11′s sell it now, which makes me very sad, :(. So if you ever find one, buy 100, and send 99 to me! :)

  10. Shannon says:

    Whoa! Sounds like you really took one for the team on this one. Hopefully the next item you review will be better. Also, I have eaten at a gas station before.

  11. Murray says:

    Several of you bear witness to the fact that these things have been around for quite some time. I’m inclinded to believe you, but it sure seems like I would have noticed them before. However, we do not have 7-11′s here in the upper midwest and I frequent Holiday Station Stores more often then Super Americas, so maybe they’ve been under my nose the entire time…although, as Ross mentions, I suspect I would have smelled their “aroma of regret”.

  12. L. Lynch says:

    Great review. I’ve heard that McDonalds just came out with a Lobster sandwich. (Seriously!) Now that you’ve gotta try.

  13. faf fah fah says:

    second on those buffalo chicken rollers, well spicy too. they have them at some Turkey Hills, as well.

  14. jesika says:

    thanks for being a trooper and trying this for us. i work next to a gas station and always eyeball the grill section, but after failing with their pizza and corn dogs i havent been brave enough to try anything else. its one of the rare situations where i start to worry bout way to take one for the team.

  15. Cow Doc says:

    I think that Murray is an amazingly brave man. He obviously has tried many different foods in his life…probably even ate M&M’s off the school bus floor as a kid or minnows that were supposed to be used for fishing.

  16. Happy says:

    Although one could debate how long this thing has been out on the market, there is no debate in your skill at bringing this experience to life. Hilarious summary to another example of bad processed food. Now if only they could fry this on a stick for a state fair…..

  17. Marsh says:

    Another brilliant review Murray. Like sharing the odor of rancid milk I’m now strangely desiring a cheeseburger link…

  18. Doug says:

    Absolutely brilliant narrative! I had just noticed an ad for these today atop the pump I was using at my local Speedway and several thoughts flashed through my mind, so I came home and wrote about it as well. Then I “Googled” the term “Speedway Cheeseburger Links” and your page appeared as the first result. As an English teacher, I must say your writing is a joy to read and extremely funny. I wish more of my students wrote with your clarity, wit and creativity. Thanks for the photos, too. And, no, I did not try one. Thanks to your review, I won’t in the future either.

  19. james42519 says:

    i have never tried this yet but want to some time. i got the hotdogs a few times 2 for $2 and load it up with relish, onion, mustard, ketchup, and drown it with chili and cheese till can’t add anymore. it is not bad. also like it when they have the .69 any size icee or soda.

    why didn’t you get the condiments at the gas station? they have ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles, onions, relish, chili, cheese for the hotdogs/hamburger/ nachos/. whatever. it is in the price you pay too.

  20. Laurie says:

    I never heard of these, but I just had one at Holiday (where I love their cheeseburgers and carrot cake). I liked it! I was just there to grab a turkey sandwich and go back to work, but I had to check out this bizarreness.

  21. Dan says:

    I totally disagree with the harsh judgement of one of my favorite snacks… Although the writing is excellent, I was sad to see that such a harsh review could be based off of a single experience that you admittedly couldn’t wrap your mind around. You have to try one of these from 7-11, top it with their pico de gallo and nacho cheese. Maybe it is the truck driver in me, but I love them and eat them once a week. They will probably kill me in the end, but that IS a side effect of being born…

  22. james42519 says:

    why didn’t you put stuff on at gas station. they have everything and it is free. ketchup, mustered, relish, onion, pickle, chili, cheese,